Film Production | Four year

BA (Hons)

2018 entry

For students who haven’t made films yet, or who need an extended introduction
to the course, the first year of this four-year course offers
 a thorough grounding in
 the discipline. You’ll work alongside Year 0 Photography students and explore the relationship between sound and still imagery, the framing of spaces and places, theoretical perspectives on representation, storytelling for the camera, and you’ll develop your own moving image project.

Our Film course has leapt an impressive 19 places in The Guardian's 2017 university league table.

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Length of study:

Four years (Year 0 + three-year degree) full-time


September 2018


UCA Farnham

UCAS code:


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This course is accredited by:

Course overview:

As a creative arts university we’ve built an enviable reputation in the film world – producing four Oscar winners, thirteen BAFTA winners and a high-profile alumni network that has contributed to many global movie successes, including Star Wars, Godzilla, James Bond, Harry Potter, Mission Impossible and Fast & Furious.

We believe in learning through doing, so from the very beginning, you’ll become part of a close-knit creative team, making films exactly as you would in the film industry. This team ethos will help you fully explore the different aspects of filmmaking and establish yourself in a key specialist role, such as producing, production design, screenwriting, directing, cinematography, editing or sound.

At UCA, we offer one of the few courses where you can still combine the latest digital techniques with traditional filmmaking. We have a long tradition of training aspiring filmmakers on 16mm. This has a proven effectiveness for developing visual literacy and fostering the discipline and planning that will help you excel.

You’ll graduate from this course with a strong portfolio of work, with sought after specialist skills and the practical filmmaking experience employers really want.

The experience of studying film with like-minded people in a specialist arts environment will fuel your creativity and give you a wide network of invaluable contacts for your future career.

The course is 75% practical and 25% theory.

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Register for an Open Day to find out more about this course in person.

Course content - 2018 entry

Year 0 is a preparatory year which provides you with a focused introduction to your chosen area of study and upon successful completion, it'll secure your place on the three year degree without further application or interview.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • The Poetics of Space

    We'll introduce you to practices and procedures for exploring the relationship of sound to image in time-based productions. The thematic content will be the exploration of ideas about place and space.

  • Personal Research Project

    You'll have the opportunity to explore your own personal creativity by looking at development work by a range of artists, photographers, and filmmakers. The emphasis will be on your personal exploration of ideas and sources of inspiration, which can result in a one-minute moving image project, or a series of 15 still images (which could include text).

  • Practices of Looking

    This unit provides you with the grounding in the conventions of academic writing and discourse in film and media studies.

  • Storytelling and Staging

    You'll be encouraged to analyse texts and create your own stories, through an exploration of different forms of storytelling. You'll also be introduced to ideas of narrative and paintings and work on the staging of a story.

In the first year, you'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. On the course you’ll learn the technical and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore your areas of specialist activity.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Encounters

    This unit allows you to explore the practical, theoretical and ethical problems associated with the representation of people or places using digital media. During this unit you'll develop research skills and an understanding of the application of still and moving image production processes. Working in a small group you'll undertake research leading to the production of a short film which presents a portrait of an individual, a group/organisation or a place. Working as an individual, you'll undertake research leading to the production of a digital online photographic portfolio which represents a portrait of an individual or a place.

  • Stories for the Screen

    You'll explores the practice of screen storytelling focusing particularly on the role of the screenwriter. It addresses the fundamental question: how do we, as filmmakers, go about telling our stories on screen? At the core of this unit are writing workshops, through which you will gain a foundation in the skills needed to work with screenplays effectively, whatever role you seek to perform in the filmmaking process. You'll also be challenged to make a short film, rotating roles within a production group in order to explore the translation of a script to screen.

  • Screen Craft 1

    The unit will familiarise you with a basic knowledge and understanding of production and postproduction practices and develop your understanding of the function and structure of film narrative. Working within a group, you'll be involved in creating an imaginative non–sync narrative film. You'll see the project through an entire production process, beginning with the development of story and script, creating characters through writing and working with actors, and creating an appropriate story world through camera, production design and sound.

  • Screen Studies 1

    You'll be introduced you to a range of fundamental concepts essential to the understanding of international moving image history and theory. Through exploration of a range of narrative and non-narrative moving image forms from around the world you will gain a historical overview of their development. You will also be introduced to some of the key theoretical approaches used in analysing moving image texts that also takes into consideration their specific contexts of production and consumption.

The second year focus is on finding your own specialist way of working and you’ll be encouraged and supported to start working more independently. During this year you may also have the opportunity to complete an industry work placement or even study abroad.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Screen Craft 2:1 - Production Roles

    You'll consider the different roles on a film production and choose one to specialise in through a series of workshops and small project work. The areas of specialism for you to choose from may include: Screenwriting, Producing, Directing, Cinematography, Editing, Sound, Production Design and Visual Effects.

  • Screen Craft 2:2 - Short Film Production

    This unit will provide you with the opportunity to take on responsibility for a production role that you have learnt about in Screen Craft 2.1: Production Roles in the production of a short fiction film to a given brief. You'll be required to take on a specialist role whilst making a fiction production and further develop your technical skills in this area.

  • Creative Documentary

    You'll examine storytelling within the documentary form, which will encourage you to undertake a documentary journey that reveals unexpected realities. Through collaborative working, you'll gain confidence in understanding the stories and kinds of storytelling that are appropriate to documentary filmmaking.

  • Screen Studies 2

    Providing a cultural, critical, theoretical and historical overview of the ways in which selected filmmakers from a variety of international contexts have responded to real-life events. A selection of fiction and non-fiction moving image texts that take real-life events as their starting points will be explored and a range of relevant theoretical and interpretative approaches will be employed to analyse their production and consumption.

  • Study Abroad (optional)

    This optional unit will allow you to spend a period of time in an overseas educational institution.

The third year will see you achieve a greater level of independence with self-managed research, study and practice, resulting in a final major project and a written dissertation.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Filmmaking Portfolio

    You'll develop your knowledge and technical skills in film production to a level that will enable you to work creatively and professionally at the end of your course. The unit offers you an opportunity to define your intended area of film practice and to find crew roles in short film productions which will support your chosen field. This is a portfolio unit in which you will work on more than one project and through an ‘Individual Learning Agreement’ negotiated with the unit leaders, you will balance two or more roles in order to fulfil the weight of production work required by this unit.

  • Extended Research Project

    Emphasising the personal development of critical writing in consultation with teaching staff, this unit aims to offer a supportive opportunity for the research and completion of an independently generated and illustrated Extended Research Project.

  • Projections

    This final unit of your course is designed to encourage you to reflect on your learning throughout the course. In preparing for the world beyond University you'll need to polish your CV and your online presence and develop your confidence in presenting yourself both online and in person. You'll also prepare your previous project work for presentation at screenings and festivals by developing a festival strategy and all associated promotional materials.

Course staff

Staff directory

International study

Find out more about studying in the UK, or studying part of your course abroad at one of our partner institutions (study abroad option not available on all courses).

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

Our industry links include:

  • Avid
  • Kodak
  • Envy
  • The Royal Television Society
  • The Guild of Television Cameramen
  • Tangram Post Production
  • Warp Films
  • Working Title
  • BBC
  • Picture Productions
  • Paramount Pictures
  • ITN
  • Mainframe
  • Big Minded TV.

We have hosted a number of visiting lecturers, including: 

  • Alex Garland, novelist, screenwriter, film producer and director with titles including The Beach, Ex Machina, Dredd, Sunshine and 28 Days Later
  • Barrie Vince, editor of Get Real, A Private Function and Moonlighting
  • Gustavo Costantini, Argentinian sound designer, musician and Professor of Sound Design at the University of Buenos Aires
  • Joe Martin and Danielle Clarke, director and producer of documentaries Win a Baby, Going Straight, Scientologists at War and Britain's Young Soldiers
  • Julie Noon/One World Media, Julie made Syria's Torture Machine, The TA and the Taliban, and Cooking in the Danger Zone
  • Philip Ilson, directs the London Short Film Festival
  • Sean Bobbitt, cinematographer of 12 Years a Slave (amongst many others).



As well as coursework, our students are supported in external projects and have made professional level film work for organisations including:

  • Alive & Well
  • London Life
  • Royal Marsden Hospital
  • Sailability
  • The March Foundation
  • Who Needs Heroes.


Our students have undertaking work experience on such features as:

  • Lilting
  • Snow White and the Huntsman
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Anna Karenina
  • Game of Thrones. 

Our graduates have worked in various roles on big budget productions, including:

  • James Bond
  • Mission: Impossible
  • Rogue Nation
  • Star Wars: Episode VII
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Fast & Furious 6
  • Anna Karenina
  • Pride.

A number of our graduates are working for range of high-profile organisations, such as:

  • The BBC
  • ITV
  • Channel 4
  • RSA Films
  • The Challenge Network
  • Roast Beef Productions
  • Art4noise
  • Channel 5
  • E4
  • Splice Media
  • Blindeye Films
  • Flex Film
  • Passion Pictures
  • Seventh Art Productions.

Our graduates go on to achieve a variety of roles, such as:

  • Director
  • Editor
  • Producer
  • Production designer
  • Camera operator
  • Sound designer
  • Location manager
  • Location sound recordist
  • Independent filmmaker
  • Screen writer
  • Distributor
  • Exhibitor
  • DIT operator.

You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.

How to apply - 2018 entry

I am a UK or EU citizen ...

I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

Entry requirements - 2018 entry:

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 64 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 160 old UCAS tariff points), see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UALAB Extended Diploma
  • 64 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 24 points from the International Baccalaureate.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance, and who were expected to achieve higher results.

Your portfolio

No formal portfolio is required for this course. However, if you want to bring work for discussion at your interview, you're welcome to do so. We'll require you to attend an Applicant Day which will include an interview. This will also give you the opportunity to visit us, meet the course team and see the facilities.

Fees & finance

Uncover all the costs involved, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to.

Student regulations

Find out more about the operation of our courses, student conduct, assessments and examinations.

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